Interview with Rob Matheny of The Grim Tidings Podcast

12748137_957555537654336_2916415817175404344_oWelcome Rob, and thanks for being here!

Eric, thanks so much for having me over, I’ve been hearing great things about the blog and I’m delighted to be your guest.

For someone entirely new to The Grim Tidings Podcast, what is it and what sort of content does it produce?

By iTunes standards, we would be considered at “literary arts” podcast with a focus on dark fiction. When I tell people about it, I usually just say it’s a heavy metal version of Reading Rainbow. My cohost Philip Overby and I are big fans of “Grimdark”, of course readers of your blog will know all about it and what authors make up the core. But – we tend to major in Grimdark, while we minor in pretty much anything else you’ll find related to speculative fiction or other media like comics or video games. Generally the show focuses on interviewing one guest per episode, though we’ve hosted as many as three guests for special panel episodes. I think if you love fantasy, science fiction, horror, publishing, or writing, you’ll find plenty of great content on our show. But it comes with an edge – from the outset of the show we reserved the right to drop F bombs at whim. It was really never actually a question – but we’re all fucking adults. And I suppose it’s because of the intrinsic nature of Grimdark itself, which is known to utilize zesty language. So you’ll find an explicit rating on the show, so cover your ears, kiddies.

What caused/inspired you to create The Grim Tidings Podcast?

In 2014 I discovered Grimdark as a sub-genre thanks to a random podcast episode of Adventures in SciFi Publishing. Did a little research and found it really seemed to define the body of authors I was enjoying. I checked Facebook for a group that might be related to Grimdark, and found there was none such group, much to my dismay. So I stared one. Since then the group has grown to 2,000 plus members, by no means all active, but it really has become a friendly community of likeminded writers and creatives. In 2015 some of the group mods thought it wise to start a podcast, and being as I’m a full time radio producer by trade, it really just seemed like a great idea. We weren’t really sure how things would turn out, but if you look at the list of guests we’ve had the privilege to host, I think we’ve done okay. The community seems to like what we’ve got going on, and we’re happy to keep brining great shows.

What have been your favorite moments/opportunities thus far with the podcast?

Wow, when I think back, there’s really too many to list. I suppose our first big moment was when we were contacted by R.A. Salvatore’s publicity team with an interest to get Bob on the show. We were stoked “AF” as the kids say. R.A. Salvatore, though not Grimdark, is nearly a household name for any fantasy reader as far as we’re concerned. It really gave us the impression that maybe we had something here. We gleefully rolled out the red carpet, had a seven day promotion leading up to the release of the episode, arranged a giveaway, and it was just a surreal experience. He was an amazing guest and we realized we could interview high profile authors and not completely shit the bed. When we started out doing the show, we had a list of authors we would ideally like to get on. Joe Abercombie, Steven Erikson, and R. Scott Bakker were among those names. And we’ve be fortunate enough to host each one on the show. We’ve hosted Richard A. Knaak, Hugo winning editor Ellen Datlow – In addition to many others. We’ve managed to churn out over 80 episodes over the past year or so. It’s all available on our Podbean archive.

With the podcast having an emphasis on Grimdark fantasy fiction, what would you say is your all-time favorite Grimdark series?

I have to go with the series that started off my love for grim and dark fantasy fiction, and that would be George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. It was my utter love and devotion to that now household name fantasy series that urged me to seek out related works of fiction. Since then I’ve found some great series like Mark Lawrence’s Broken Empire Trilogy, The Prince of Nothing Series by R. Scott Bakker, and many more. I think the strength of George’s series though is the masterful storytelling. There’s a reason it’s HBO’s highest rated series in history. Though both the books and the TV show has its critics, I myself have been pleased with the content from both and look forward to future installments.

What’s the best way for people interested in The Grim Tidings podcast to follow you and it’s content?

I would say definitely follow us on iTunes. All you have to do is search for “Grim Tidings”, hit subscribe, and you’ll get notified once new episodes come out. Social media wise, definitely like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and be sure to bookmark, as our site will be up and coming here very shortly – and we’ll be featuring blog posts and all new content. We’ll also be looking for blog and article contributors as well.

Thanks for joining us and sharing a little about The Grim Tidings Podcast!

14639618_1107412049343838_313574490314227692_nAbout Rob: Rob is a freelance media producer and social media consultant based out of Salem, Oregon. On Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and Instagram at RobMatheny80.




2 Comments Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on Barbarian Book Club and commented:

    Check out this interview of Rob Matheny. He puts out a podcast that focuses on dark and grimdark SFF. Give it a listen.

    Liked by 1 person

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